The New Baroque Organ

The Orgelpark is currently building a new organ; the new Baroque organ is inspired by an organ in Naumburg (in the former GDR). Johann Sebastian Bach was personally involved in its building process. The New Baroque organ will be suited for baroque music as well as a 21st-century sound, because the instrument will be fitted with the newest computer technologies such as a new digital console. The sound possibilities of the new console are much broader than with 'baroque play'. The goal is for the organ to allow not only for historically accurate Bach play, but to especially invite and inspire new music as well.


Zacharias Hildebrandt

The work of organ builder Zacharias Hildebrandt, contemporary of Bach and his fellow countryman, was chosen as a point of reference. Bach admired Hildebrandt's work; he organised organist posts on Hildebrandt organs for his son and son-in-law, wrote a cantate for the commissioning of the Hildebrandt organ in Störmthal (and performed it together with his wife), and assessed Hildebrandt's masterpeice in the Wenzelskirche in Naumburg.


Heavy, deep basses and a preference for timbre wealth in the middle position are characteristic for Hildebrandt's sound concept. Hildebrandt's organs possess the so-called 'Stahlklang' in the higher domain: a special combination of high registers. An important difference compared to the organs by Gottfried Silbermann, with whom Hildebrandt collaborated for some time, is that Hildebrandt's organs are less loud.



The point of departure for the disposition of the New Baroque organ is that of the Hildebrandt organ from 1749 – of which, as a matter of fact, only the cabinet has been conserved. The front of the new organ will also be based on Hettstedt's organ in terms of level of detail and width, but will have the proportions of the strongly similar organ in Sangerhausen (1728).



The preparation of the New Baroque organ concept was a very public process: anyone who wanted to think along or ask questions was able to do so through an online blog. In addition, the New Baroque organ has been discussed in several colloquia and symposia. The articles resulting from these have been included in Research Report #5/1.

The New Baroque organ will be officially revealed on March 21, 2018.


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